Displaying quicker instincts than either he or Steve Westly did during the primary campaign, Phil Angelides spoke to reporters this afternoon to rip Schwarzenegger's record on prisons in the wake of the governor's call for a special session.
Angelides noted that the only real effect of a special session would be to allow bills to take effect a few weeks early, on Dec. 1 rather than Jan. 1 if the session lasts until the end of August.
He said Schwarzenegger has presided over a "meltdown" of the prison system that is "threatening the public safety of Californians." He said the special session and reform proposals the governor unveiled today were a "cosmetic action to cover over his failures, his mistakes."
Angelides did not, however, offer an alternative. If elected, he said, he would appoint new and better managers, conduct a "thorough review" and put in place a "long-term plan" to ensure that the state has adequate prison capacity at the least possible cost. He did say the first priority ought to be to fill 3,000 empty positions in the prisons. He did not say how much that would cost or how he would pay for it.
Posted by dweintraub at 3:59 PM
The California Nurses Association's public financing initiative has qualified for the ballot, according to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson. That brings to seven the number of initiatives on the November ballot, plus six added by the Legislature. This one would raise corporate taxes to pay for campaigns. Several other measures would also raise taxes: the tobacco tax for health care, parcel taxes for education, oil taxes for alternative energy.
Posted by dweintraub at 3:33 PM
The Assembly is scheduled to go into session at 5 p.m. and immediately recess into party caucuses to review the contents of a budget deal reached this morning by the four legislative leaders. Here's the statement put out by the leadership, via Assembly Democrats spokesman Steve Maviglio:
“We have reached a tentative agreement on a balanced, responsible budget today after several months of productive discussion. It reflects the values of both parties and moves our state forward. We hope to have a vote prior to July 1st.”
Details to come.
Posted by dweintraub at 1:18 PM
Phil Angelides has rolled out a new multi-point coastal protection plan. He wants a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling, a more aggressive effort to purchase undeveloped land along the coast, and more money for the Coastal Commission. He's also blaming Schwarzenegger for actions taken by the Bush Administration or proposed by Rep. Richard Pombo.
Posted by dweintraub at 11:35 AM
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling a special session of the Legislature to focus on what he says is a crisis in the state prison system. He wants lawmakers to approve the construction of new prisons using lease-revenue bonds, which do not require voter approval, and to expedite purchasing in the prisons. He also wants to transfer several thousand female prisoners to community correctional facilities to free up one prison for more dangerous male inmates. And he proposes to send all inmates to a secure “reentry” facility 90 days before they are released for psychological counseling and other assistance to help them return to the community with a better chance of staying there. The initiative comes as Schwarzenegger acknowledges that the prison system is “a mess” and in danger of being taken over by the courts.
Posted by dweintraub at 11:27 AM